Home Life Laurie Nigro Laurie Nigro: Summer showdown: Bugs 1, Me 0

Laurie Nigro:
Summer showdown: Bugs 1, Me 0

I have a difficult relationship with insects and arachnids. For the most part, they terrify and/or disgust me and almost all of them give me the heebie-jeebies. However, I not only understand, but I also embrace, their rightful place on this earth. So a few years back, I made a deal with all the creepy crawlers. If they stay outside, I leave them alone.

Unfortunately, they are insolent beasts and are regularly in violation of the treaty. And yet, I struggle greatly with ending any life. To keep the guilt at bay, I decided that I would personally escort any wayward bugs back outside to their proper home, whenever possible. And you know when it’s never possible? When that mother f’er shows up in the shower.

There is something totally unacceptable about bugs and nudity. Maybe it’s the total lack of regard for your privacy. Maybe it’s the sense of violation (we had a deal!). Maybe it’s the natural vulnerability that most of us feel when nude. Or maybe it’s the horrifying realization that you could possibly end up with a spider crawling on your bare bits.

There’s no possible positive outcome to sharing your bathtub with a bug, which is why I had a near-nervous breakdown this week when I had just wet my hair and then noticed a small, tan-ish, eight-legged violator on the opposite side of the shower.

There were several thoughts that went through my head as I watched it sway back and forth on its invisible web. The first was, “WTF??” It had clearly not been there only moments earlier, when I turned the water on — back when I was still FULLY CLOTHED and completely capable of moving it to another location.

My next thought was also, “WTF??” Now what? I mean, seriously — now what?? There were only so many options and I didn’t like any of them. Not one.

I could try and wash it down the drain, but there are too many inherent problems in that solution. First of all, it was at the opposite end of the shower, which means once I sprayed it with water, it would be coming right at me. I could have ended up with a spider washing over my feet. That’s a big ole, “hell no”. Now, I suppose I could have tried to balance my naked self on the edge of the tub so it could safely float past me, but what if I fell? I would have ended up on the shower fall, likely injured — still naked – with a freaking spider headed directly at my various bits. Also, I was home alone so there would have been no one to help me get dressed and get to the hospital. And I would rather die in my shower than have to have any emergency personnel lift my broken, nude, spider-crawled-on self onto a stretcher.

I considered abandoning the shower altogether, but I had just finished working out I had to, at the very least, wash off the stench. Also, I was on a tight schedule or I would have weighed the pros and cons of getting out, redressing (which, tbh, would have been super gross and sort of like trying to jam a split open sausage back into its skin), and dealing with the unwelcome visitor.

Finally, I came to the conclusion that I was just going to have to tough it out. There was no other way. No one was home to help me — either with the spider or with any possible spider-related injuries. My dogs don’t eat spiders, nor would they come anywhere near a bathtub. My cats wouldn’t help me because they’re cats and helping any person for any reason pretty much goes against everything in which they believe. It was just me and the spider.

I decided that as long as I could see it, and it remained at the far end of the shower, I would not break into a complete panic attack. It was a good plan. Until I had to close my eyes to rinse out the shampoo.

Four seconds. It took me four seconds to rinse out the freaking shampoo and when I opened my eyes, the bastard was gone. I could feel the adrenaline surging as I scanned the enclosure (did I mention that the walls and the spider were disturbingly similar in color?). And just as I was about to start screaming loud enough to send Norman Bates running from the bathroom, it emerged from behind the nail brush (which now needed to be boiled to kill the spider cooties).

I sped through the rest of the shower, feeling a mixture of resentment (I had been robbed of my shower — one of the few times in my life that I am usually left alone) and fear (for obvious reasons). Also, I started worrying about other places that could be harboring insects.

Once it gets warm out, the entire bug-world erupts. It takes all my determination to be a good role model for my kids and not react like a crazed lunatic each time I encounter some multi-legged creepy. I can promise you that capturing moths and releasing them into the night is just icky. They leave this weird powdery film on your hands that’s like a poor man’s fairy dust. Plus, spiders are stupid and never work with me when I’m trying to get them onto a piece of paper to carry outside before someone else vacuums them up. But waking up to a clicky bug (yes, I’m certain that’s the scientific name) crawling on me is so disturbing that I can’t even fake any sense of calmness. I go directly into crisis mode. When I’m pulled from a sleep state to a state of sheer terror, I generally grab the bug and throw it, which I immediately regret. Because how the hell can I go back to sleep when I know it’s just waiting for me to enter REM sleep so it can crawl up my nose?

Aren’t you glad you’re not inside my head? Or my house?

I should probably get some therapy for all of this, but for now, I’ll just keep loading up on bug repellents. Did you know there are a whole bunch of plants that bugs hate? I may be a person that killed a cactus by under watering it, but I will learn to better care for plants if they help me avoid death by bug. Mother Nature Network ) has a comprehensive list of plants here. But let’s be real, I’m probably not going to become a great gardener so maybe I’ll just try these pretty mason jars from The Hearty Soul.

Laurie Nigro
Laurie is the mother of two biological children and one husband and the caretaker of a menagerie of animals. Laurie is passionate about frugal, natural living. She was recognized by the L.I. Press Club with a “best humor column” award in 2016. Email Laurie